The Kidney Stone

I’m sitting in the hospital beside Bo who’s in pain and doesn’t understand any of this. We came to the emergency room last night, and the diagnosis after a battery of tests is kidney stone. So we’re here a second night, Bo’s on morphine and I’m holding my breath, waiting for the meds to kick in.

Jon left at 1 am and I spent the night and morning here in this chair trying to get comfortable and jumping up every time Bo stirred because the IV, the heart monitors and his hospital bracelet all bothered him so he tried to remove them, plus he was being filled with fluids and there were sudden, urgent needs.

We’re in a special room where the nurses can observe us. There’s a window between the room and the nurses’ station and he is lying on a special pad which sends out a very annoying warning if he gets off the bed, in fact, even if he raises up his body. Yet with all of this, nurses can’t come instantly and Bo can be quick.

It’s clear that he couldn’t be here in the hospital alone, no matter how many safeguards they have taken. Bo needs someone beside him all the time to help, to keep him from pulling out the tubes, to help him wash and eat and go to the bathroom (if we can get there in time.) And to calm him and let him know we’re here. So Jon and I are sharing 24-hour duty. How would I do this alone?

Doctors and nurses were in and out all day reporting results and discussing his condition. Should they add high blood pressure medicine? Will they keep him here to observe? Will a procedure need to be performed to remove the stone? A long time ago I promised Bo no life-extending measures. I feel very strongly that I am his protector; I made a promise and I will keep it. I will make every decision to keep him comfortable; I will not extend his life.

The man in the other bed in the room is sundowning. He tried to pack, has cursed out the nurses, refused to stay in his bed ( his alarm was continuously going off), so finally they have moved him to the nurse’s station where he sits, disgruntled and sometimes angry, and  says so eloquently, “I’m tired of this s___ !” We’re so fortunate that Boris is quiet, polite and compliant.

I went home this afternoon, took a nap, cleaned up, walked Emma and came back with a salad for dinner for me and praline pretzel ice cream for Bo. I’m set up for the night with my computer, phone, a novel, the NY Sunday Times and a little stool to prop my feet on. It’ll be a long night and I’ll be exhausted when Jon comes at 9 am, but it’s the only way. I don’t want Boris to ever feel alone.

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24 Responses to The Kidney Stone

  1. dianne says:

    Oh Nancy, what next??? I am sorry I am so far away and can’t help you. Here’s some virtual hugs, xoxoxoxoxoxox, dianne

  2. Maureen says:

    Wow, just got home from a busy night at work. You certainly have your hands full. I’m going to try and call you after I walk.

  3. lori says:

    When Dad went into the hospital,we could not stay overnight so we came back and forth daily until he was released. He was moved twice because he kept on trying to get out of bed, pull out his IV, etc. Thank goodness he is very compliant and doesn’t get angry or combative. Please know I empathize with your struggle and send good, healing thoughts and a warm hug your way.
    Please remember to take care of yourself – your needs are equally as important. Bless you for doing the best you can for your husband.

  4. Thank you, Lori, for your kind words.

  5. gr8mommom says:

    Nny I am so sorry for you and Boris. What an ordeal along with everything. Thinking of you. Jo Ann

  6. Paula Kaye says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Having them in the hospital is so hard!

    http://smidgensbitsandsnippets.blogspot.com/

  7. I am praying for you. I know how exhausting it can be to be sitting in a hospital chair all day, but you do it for love. May God bless you and keep you, now and always.

  8. Frances Pullen says:

    Nancy, I feel so deeply for you as you and Bo go through this unwelcome and difficult experience! Please know that I care and have you in my prayers. My journey with my beloved husband’s dementia came to an end in January of this year, but I have continued to travel with you by reading every one of your postings. Congratulations on your recent well-deserved award — and thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. So many times my reaction has been, “Yes! That’s exactly how it is!” and there has been a certain comfort in being able to identify with you.

    Sending a warm hug to you, Nancy.
    Frances in California

    • France, I’m so sorry you lost your husband this year. You are the person who wrote to me and encouraged me to continue with my blog. Did you know that? N

      • Frances Pullen says:

        No, I had no idea! I’m honored to know that I helped encourage you to continue with your blog. Bless you for mentioning this!

  9. Pauline Koch says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with both you and Boris! I am so glad that you have some help to allow you to protect and nurture Boris all the time, especially during these rough times. Please take care!

  10. Cheryl says:

    Dear Nancy
    You and Bo are in my prayers. Last week we had such a happy time all together. And as we both know life can turn around in an instant with our loved ones. Be well and know that your many readers and friends and family are praying for you both.
    Cheryl

  11. Lisa M says:

    Oh Nancy – the hospital is the worst! Mom is the same – pulling things out, trying to get up without her walker…she’s a bulldozer! Hopefully he won’t have to stay long – once he feels better it will be that much harder for him to understand and accept being away from home. Prayers coming your way. Please keep us posted. And please take care of yourself.

  12. Arleen Mildred Stolzenberger says:

    Thinking of you both! So glad you have Jon to help. You both remain in our prayers.

  13. Bernadette says:

    So sorry for you and Borris. Take care of yourself, hospital stays for someone else are exhausting on the caregiver as you know. Thoughts and prayers are with you both.

  14. Leslie Klemm says:

    Thinking of you, Nancy! It’s absolutely no fun to be a hospital sitter, as I call it. I spent quite a bit of time doing that when Trixie was first diagnosed with epilepsy and several times since then for various reasons. CHOP’s facilities, the doctors, and nurses were all wonderful, but a hospital is a hospital – let’s face it. The uncomfortable conditions are challenging enough, but trying to stay positive and be a comforting, familiar presence for your loved one who doesn’t understand is infinitely more difficult. Make the most of those rest breaks whenever you can, they are so important for a full time caregiver. Best wishes for a good night’s sleep and a positive turn of events soon! Leslie

  15. Pat says:

    My dear Nancy, if it’s not one thing, it’s another! Hospitals with all their activity and noises can be very confusing for Bo. You are his one familiar, stabilizing factor. Be strong. This too shall pass.
    love you..

  16. Nancy, all my love and prayers to you both.
    Stay strong!
    /anna

  17. Lori says:

    Nancy- your love for your husband is beautiful! Truly! Warms my heart! I just spent some time praying for all of you…kidney stone…ouch!
    You are a beautiful writer!

  18. Lori says:

    Nancy- your love for your husband is beautiful! Truly! Warms my heart! Just spent some time praying for all of you.
    You are a beautiful writer!

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